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How to Kill Ground Termites

Termites are one of a homeowner's biggest nightmares. Ground termites, the most voracious type of termite, can eat up to 15 lbs. of wood in a single day. Over a very short span of time, a large colony of ground termites can virtually destroy a home. Fortunately there are a few things you can do to eliminate this pest from your yard and home.

Inspect the foundation of your home. Look for mud tunnels on the outside of any cement foundations leading up to your home. These mud tunnels are a sure sign of ground-based termites, the worst type of termite.

Use your shovel to scrape the tunnels off the sides of your foundation. Turn up the soil around your foundation and then sprinkle a liberal amount of food-grade diatomaceous earth into the soil and mix it thoroughly with your shovel. Spread a heavy layer of diatomaceous earth along the edge of your foundation on top of the ground.

Keep the ground dry around your foundation. Do not water the area where the termites were found for several weeks. Allow the soil to dry out completely. Ground termites are very susceptible to dehydration. Fix any water leaks to keep the ground as well as any wood on your house completely dry.

Inspect your entire foundation for additional mud tunnels leading from the ground up the side of your foundation. If any are found scrape them off your foundation using a shovel and open up the ground at the base of your foundation. Pour a liquid termite poison, such as lambda-cyhalothrin, along the foundation of your house to form a termite barrier. Again, keep the area completely dry.

Inspect your entire foundation once again. If termite mud tunnels are still found, then purchase termite bait at your local hardware or home improvement store. These are solid pellets of termite poison which termites eat and take back to their colony.


In most cases, an application of diatomaceous earth will be all that is needed to destroy a ground termite colony.


When using termite poisons, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions.

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